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A Tale of Two Cities (1917)

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Alcoholic lawyer Sydney Carton travels to Paris during the Reign of Terror to rescue French aristocrat Charles Darnay, husband of the woman he loves.



(novel), (scenario), 1 more credit »
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Title: A Tale of Two Cities (1917)

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Credited cast:
Charles Clary ...
Herschel Mayall ...
Rosita Marstini ...
Josef Swickard ...
Ralph Lewis ...
William Clifford ...
Marc Robbins ...
Olive White ...
Willard Louis ...
Harry De Vere ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Morrison ...
Undetermined Role


Charles Darnay is the nephew of the Marquis St. Evremonde in pre-Revolutionary France, but disagrees with the French feudal system and emigrates to England, where he is falsely accuses him of being a spy. He is found innocent through the skill of Sydney Carton, an alcoholic English barrister. Darnay is supported by beautiful Lucy Manette, whom he met on the trip across the Channel, and her father, Doctor Manette, a victim of the aristocracy unjustly imprisoned for many years in the Bastille. Carton falls in love with Lucy, but she loves Darnay and subsequently marries him. Carton's love remains unrequited, but it propels him to sobriety. After Darnay is tricked into returning to France during the Reign of Terror and subsequently sentenced to death by a revolutionary tribunal, it falls to Carton to save his romantic rival's life. Written by

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Drama | History | Romance | War




Release Date:

11 March 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Historia en dos ciudades  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Film debut of James Morrison. See more »


Featured in Chris & Don. A Love Story (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

surprisingly good
29 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Not a great film but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Farnum is excellent in a double role, and Jewel Carmen is sympathetic as Miss Manette. The film owes a lot to D. W. Griffith. The editing style, the plot development, the epic scope and the direction are all, strictly David Wark. However, give the director (Frank Lloyd) credit; he knew a good thing when he saw it, and even if he did copy Griffith, at least he did it well. Frank Lloyd eventually became a very capable director with his own style. Like Griffith he had a way of saying a lot in a few frames and doing it in a satisfying way. He moves things right along and so is able to keep the interest of even a modern viewer. If you are a film student, you could learn a lot about artistic economy from watching this film. However, most of us will just be happy that the director is able to keep our interest, and not waste our time with overly long scenes. Only in the very last couple of minutes does it drag slightly. But I suspect that what we see as dragging today, would have been considered art in 1917. There is also a creative use of double exposures and other effects that give the film a bit of visual excitement.

To the average intelligent viewer - don't go too far out of your way, but if you end up seeing it, it will keep your interest better than many modern films and you will be entertained.

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